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Dangerous drivers thread

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Mikhail

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Aug 7 2013 at 9:38am #

^ I like it. :)


mlinwood25

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Aug 7 2013 at 9:59am #

stefb wrote:^ keeping track of addresses so that next year we can have a “Tour de asshole”.. Or perhaps better named.

THIS would be tremendous given the POWER OF THE INTERNETS it wouldn’t be too hard to find the addresses of Francis Kilinsky (home and office, since he does own a business in his name), Gary Evans, John Strahs(meier) and Tom Pade. Ride by, knock on the door, sing a song, hand a pro-biking flyer out, then move on. I’m ready when you are.


smarchit

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Aug 7 2013 at 10:20am #

stefb wrote:^ … Or perhaps better named.

“Homes of the Stars Tour”–Visit the homes of some of Pittsburgh’s most important authors and public performers. They know that they’re important, and now you can be honored by their presence as well. Paparazzi welcome.


cburch

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Aug 7 2013 at 11:02am #

tour de jag


reddan

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Aug 7 2013 at 12:03pm #

Confucius say, “Man who seek out assholes end up not smelling like a rose.”


sew

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Aug 7 2013 at 1:41pm #

I know one of the aforementioned authors…..I don’t think that would have any affect and would probably amuse and encourage him further.


rice rocket

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Aug 7 2013 at 2:43pm #

reddan wrote:Confucius say, “Man who seek out assholes end up not smelling like a rose.”

Haha. Couldn’t be said better.

When was the last time you swayed the opinion of some militant asshole by shouting back at them?


reddan

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Aug 7 2013 at 3:05pm #

When was the last time you swayed the opinion of some militant asshole by shouting back at them?

Also in the bargain bin at Crazy Dan’s Pithy Sayings Outlet:

“Arguing with a troll is like beating up a masochist.”


Mick

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Aug 7 2013 at 4:56pm #

smarchit wrote:“Homes of the Stars Tour”–

I like it!

It would be good to have a megatphone to announce things like “In this house lives John Doe who repeatedly ingnores the laws an uses his car as an assault vehicle against biyclists.”


stefb

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Aug 7 2013 at 7:05pm #

Silver Kia forte

GKX 1414

Had a bike back on the back of the car, still couldn’t wait 5 seconds to give me more than 6-12 inches of space while passing on butler just to get to a red light. Thanks, fellow cyclist!


Ahlir

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Aug 7 2013 at 9:02pm #

I got buzzed going east on Forbes between the park and Wightman. Of course it was rush hour and soon I was next to the car. It’s just the driver, no passengers. I knock on the window. He looks at me. I motion him to roll down the window a bit. No dice. Eventually he relents and turns down his radio.

I point out to him that he passed me too close (he actually startled me, and I’m mostly used to this stuff). He rolls his eyes. I remind him of the 4′ rule and ask him to drive like a “normal” person. (In retrospect the latter comment was uncalled for; it should have been “drive safely”, with a smile.) I end up taking the lane between Wightman and Murray, just in case.

There’s got to be a better way…


Mick

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Aug 7 2013 at 10:54pm #

Ahlir wrote:ask him to drive like a “normal” person. (In retrospect the latter comment was uncalled for;

Particularly since the “normal” driver goes 10 mph faster than the limit.


Ahlir

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Aug 8 2013 at 9:09pm #

Today I had my very own dangerous driver incident!

I was in East Liberty, riding north on Highland coming up to the ELB. I’m in the right lane which is clear, and the light is green; in any case I’d be turning right onto ELB. There is a row of cars in the left lane, presumably because the head car is trying to turn left. Suddenly a car pull out right in front of me. I have to stop very fast and end up tumbling. The driver pauses, looks back, then takes off. A couple of people at the bus shelter report the same and add that the driver was a woman. They are sympathetic and offer help, as does a biker who shows up shortly after (if you read this board, thanks! I really appreciated you stopping).

The car was an older, squarish hatchback. Grey. With a Texas plate, the older kind that’s all beige with black characters. I only managed to remember that the license has the sequence “355” in it. The plate is ~5 digits, divider, three letters. My impression is that the owner may live in Highland Park, or maybe travels through there on a regular basis. The time was ~6:30pm. Be careful around it. If you have information (like you spot the car and get the full plate number), please let me know by PM.

After dinner and after the adrenaline starts to wear off, I have a chest pain (like maybe from a handle bar), a sore elbow and a bruised palm. I had a helmet, so even though I banged my head, it didn’t get hurt. The chest hurt a lot when I sneezed. I’ll wait until tomorrow morning to maybe worry about any of it. In the meanwhile, a couple of ibuprofens.

The local police station is walking distance so I decide to go make a report. I’m not optimistic, but you may as well try. I learn the following:
1) If there’s no hit, there’s no hit and run. Officially your accident was caused by a “phantom” car. Nothing will be done.
2) Yes, it counts as dangerous driving, but only police witnessing the event can make that determination.


quizbot

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Aug 8 2013 at 11:14pm #

3) Helmet cam should override 2) in case of officer absence during the event


helen s

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Aug 9 2013 at 1:11pm #

Large black Jeep SUV ESZ 2591 going east on Schenley Drive next to the Pitt Library on Thursday around 6:30 pm. Driver is around mid 30’s, short reddish hair with short goatee and mustache, piercings on right ear. I caught up to him at the light and calmly said he was allowed to cross the double yellow to pass me (there was not other traffic when he buzzed by very close). He irritatedly said I needed to move over, at which point I stated I had a right to use the road also. His reply was “fuck off-you can take down my plate.”
I did not, but fortunately there was another cyclist at the light also listening to the interchange- when the driver left he gave me the plate and make of car and said he had an interchange with the same driver which was much worse. I neglect to say thanks to the other cyclist- but am doing so now- thanks!

I did have an exchange that morning on Frew Street with a driver who buzzed me coming down the hill in the golf course. When I pointed out he passed me very closely he gave me puppy dog eyes and said he would try to do better in the future. I was convinced he would until as I was leaving he said “Hey, I didn’t hit you, did I?”


salty

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Aug 14 2013 at 10:23am #

Here’s a good one…

I’m coming down Wilkins, to the left side of the left turn lane since I’m turning left on Beechwood, and slowing down since I’ve got a red light. As I approach the intersection, a SUV/Minivan makes a wide right turn from Beechwood and starts coming at me head-on, in my lane, beeping the horn. I had ample time to swerve right to avoid any trouble, and as I pass, I see the driver (still honking) is also making a “what am I supposed to do” kind of gesture.

Then I realized the reason she was in my lane was because she essentially right hooked another cyclist – who was luckily also turning right but was now stuck between her vehicle and the curb. A two-fer! Yet apparently the driver is too ignorant to understand how the entire problem was 100% her fault. sigh.


rsprake

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Aug 14 2013 at 10:42am #

It’s odd how some people all of a sudden can’t imagine that they have to wait their turn and not run people over when it involves a bike.


jonawebb

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Aug 14 2013 at 10:48am #

Oh yeah, that reminds me. I was riding through Braddock a week or so ago, on the right side of the road, I hear a beep behind me and a second or two later a car passes me and makes a right hook turn right in front of me. The honk was the warning she was about to do this. Thanks, lady. I didn’t get a license plate and anyway, in Braddock I think they’ve got bigger fish to fry.


rsprake

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Aug 14 2013 at 10:59am #

I love the self-aware right hook.


stefb

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Aug 14 2013 at 11:37am #

I was waiting at a red light to make a left in the left hand lane in front of PNC park this morning when a man was walking his dog in the crosswalk lawfully. There was a “no right on red” sign lit up for traffic in the righthand lane, but the driver rolled right through and made his turn just a second before the pedestrian and his dog got there. Without breaking stride, the pedestrian flipped the guy off. Must happen a lot.


edmonds59

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Aug 14 2013 at 12:10pm #

At the West End Circle recently I’ve been seeing drivers coming from 51/Saw Mill Run do left turns on red, and straight thru’s on red. Once one person does it, others seem to think, OH! that must be legal! People are just making shit up now.


HiddenVariable

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Aug 14 2013 at 12:58pm #

edmonds59 wrote:At the West End Circle recently I’ve been seeing drivers coming from 51/Saw Mill Run do left turns on red, and straight thru’s on red. Once one person does it, others seem to think, OH! that must be legal! People are just making shit up now.

i saw this happen on grant yesterday, by the lighted crosswalk from the steel tower to strawberry way. one car just rolled straight through (the light had been red—this wasn’t a failure to make the yellow). then, the car behind it went through as well, almost hitting some people who were crossing.

also: this thread is depressing.


Drewbacca

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Aug 14 2013 at 1:15pm #

ugh… I hate red-light cameras, HATE. They seem to generate most of their revenue off of a rolling-right-turn-on-red, which is ticketing the wrong people imho. Then I read the above and I remember why at one point in time I was a huge advocate for those things.


Marko82

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Aug 14 2013 at 2:30pm #

Maybe we can talk the West Homestead police into start keeping an eye on some of these intersections? After all, their mayor said they are all about keeping us safe!


pinky

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Aug 15 2013 at 12:14pm #

@edmonds – I thought that if it’s one way to one way, it’s actually legal to turn left on red. The real problem arises when people don’t even stop to look.

I 311’ed the situation in the West End Circle a couple of months ago and asked for additional enforcement after I was almost plowed down walking in the crosswalk multiple days in a row. Drivers were looking to their right and ignoring me directly in front of their bumper.

Now I just assume that every car is going to run me over and proceed accordingly until I make real eye contact with each driver.


RustyRed

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Aug 15 2013 at 7:52pm #

I venture out onto the streets with traffic maybe once a week… my very first day I got buzzed within about 18 inches. I’ve had the Contour (thanks to everyone here for the camera advice, it was invaluable!) on the bike for just a few days, and took Lilackadaisical out Dahntahn and I get a close call with a left cross. I had to use the Human Horn (and brakes).


Marko82

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Aug 15 2013 at 9:04pm #

Gotta love the pedestrians crossing against the light too.


Steven

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Aug 15 2013 at 11:52pm #

pinky wrote:I thought that if it’s one way to one way, it’s actually legal to turn left on red.

You’re right about that left. Title 75, section 3112(a)(3)(ii).

I was crossing Murray Avenue an hour ago, as a pedestrian, when a driver facing a red light pulled halfway into the intersection and just stopped. At least it was better than running the red completely.

So kudos to you, SUV driver! Know that your vague half-hearted stab at competent driving was much appreciated, as I trust I conveyed to you with my eye-rolling and head-shaking as I walked into the traffic lane to get around your crosswalk-blocking vehicle.


smarchit

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Aug 18 2013 at 9:24pm #

Wife and I had our first legitimate near miss with a dangerous driver this afternoon while out on a mini practice run for part of the Pedal Pgh route. As we were approaching the T at the end of Mellon Terrace near Highland Park (an area of town that I’m not extremely familiar with), I yelled back to my wife, who was even less familiar with the area, that there was no stop sign, so we had the right of way. As we were turning left towards the park, a car came flying down Mellon Street from the park at an excessive rate of speed and forced us to slam on the brakes, which in turn startled the driver of the car behind us. I assumed that I had missed a partially hidden stop sign, and made more of a mental note of it being an unmarked hazard for next week’s trip over this section. Before reporting it, I checked out streetview, looking for the sign I may have missed. Lo and behold, I DID have the right of way (no stop sign), and not only was the offending driver speeding, he also blew through a DO NOT ENTER/ALL TRAFFIC MUST TURN RIGHT sign combo in his direction of travel. Google shows Mellon Street to be One Way towards the park from at least Bryant Street to Mellon Terrace. Quite an experience on what was otherwise a great day for a ride.


mjacobPGH

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Aug 20 2013 at 10:44am #

I had two on Sunday. First I was biking home from work on Blvd of the Allies in downtown. I’m not on sidewalks because that’s illegal. I stop at the intersection at Cherry Way and Blvd. Although there was no traffic AND they had blocked Cherry Way to my right(so I wouldn’t be cutting across traffic if I went) I didn’t go through the red light since that’s illegal and drivers were behind me. Light turns green and the car behind me wants to pass but there is a car next to him for the turn lane at Grant and Blvd. Driver speeds up to at least 25 MPH within the lane and passes me with very, very little space. The part that pisses me off most is that the light at Grant and Blvd has been red the ENTIRE TIME. I get to the light and look at the driver with my arms outstretched and he yells “You need to get the f*** over!” I responded “I am over did you even look at the f***ing light? It’s red you don’t need to do that.” He just says “fuck you” and speeds off. Later, the same exact thing happened to me at 5th and Wilkins with a driver cutting me very closely in order to get to a red light. However, I didn’t say anything because they had their kid in the car and I would’ve flipped out on them based on what happened earlier. It’s infuriating because for one I was following the law and the drivers weren’t. Two, I was being “courteous” by not taking the lane which would’ve perhaps prevented them from trying. Three, if I HAD broken the law by going through the light at Cherry Way, I would have cleared Blvd of the Allies before that car came anywhere near me.


Marko82

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Aug 20 2013 at 11:10am #

mjacobPGH wrote:I was being “courteous” by not taking the lane which would’ve perhaps prevented them from trying

Stop doing that. I don’t mean to criticize your riding, and it’s just my opinion, but this almost always turns out bad for the cyclists. Taking the full lane forces the guy to either follow you in the lane or change lanes in order to get past you. Try it for awhile and see if it makes a difference for you.

-I will share the road, but NOT my lane-


mjacobPGH

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Aug 20 2013 at 11:18am #

Yea, I know. I do, at times, take the lane. I don’t think I was consciously making a decision to not take the lane in this instance but I should probably do it more often. I honestly didn’t think it was necessary on Blvd of the Allies since traffic was moving so slowly but I often do take the lane while I am on Fifth(which I am only riding on briefly) and people still pass VERY close.


Marko82

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Aug 20 2013 at 11:37am #

@mjacobPGH. Yeah taking the lane is no guarantee that a driver still won’t be a dick and pass you dangerously, but I think it gives the message that you are confident in what you are doing and that you belong on the road. (Which you also showed by stopping at the light! +1)

Recent Bad Example: I was stopped at a red light a few weeks ago as the only vehicle/bike in the queue, bike positioned dead center of the travel lane – when a motorcycle stops behind me then passed me on my RIGHT in order to turn right on red. WTF!


StuInMcCandless

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Aug 20 2013 at 12:15pm #

I’ll name names here, as he’s been mentioned both in this forum before as well as written anti-cyclist comments in the P-G. James Love. He does not own a car, but does have a license and rents a ZipCar every once in a while. We had it out on Facebook in a thread that went on for four days a few months ago; a few of you may have participated in it.

Anyway, we got into yet another argument on Facebook yesterday. He firmly believes cyclists are breaking the law by taking the lane, and we should all be fined. No amount of quoting the actual law, or pointing out what would be blatantly obvious to any of us, makes any difference.

Why I bring this up is that, since I know the guy so well, I can understand where at least this one is coming from. How well that can be applied to others is subjective, but the essence of it is this: They never learned how to think. They learned what to think, and further, learned never to question that.

Yesterday’s argument concerned this photo:

…to which he posted on Facebook:
These bikers known as Bike Pittsburgh refuse to follow road rules. They refuse to allow traffic to pass them to keep up speeds of safety. Some on a two lane road take up whole lane which is permitted when safe to do. However they need to move to right when vehicles come behind them and they are refusing to let traffic pass them. One in a Bike Pittsburgh post in facebook main page has been caught for all of us to see driving in uncoming lane which is wrong. … I refuse to involved with a bike group which refuses to follow road laws. If I see traffic behind me I have the brains to move to the right or stop to let traffic pass.

And then, in the private conversation, this happened:

Stuart Strickland
In that photo, if you came up behind them, what would you do?
(and those bikers are fully in the right, except for the guy in front who’s a couple inches over the line)

James Love
blow my horn to have lane open to pass or call police to have you fined for un safe biking

* * *
So, there you have it, some insight into the sort of thinking of those behind the wheel giving us a hard time.


mjacobPGH

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Aug 20 2013 at 12:34pm #

I basically always feel “damned if I do, damned if I don’t” while commuting; you can’t make everyone happy. You can either be a nice, courteous biker and let people take liberties with you(sounds like a metaphor for life) or be a proactive biker who makes it harder for people to risk your safety but pissing them off more at the same time. Engaging with internet trolls hardly seems worth it anymore(I have done enough on the PG commentary but can’t stop responding to some of the idiocy). Most of them aren’t representative of drivers. I do truly believe that most drivers don’t endanger bikers out of any hostility or malice but mostly pure impatience and ignorance.


jonawebb

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Aug 20 2013 at 12:46pm #

I’ve grown very familiar with my commute and act as I think appropriate on each individual road segment. E.g. approaching an intersection where I’ve gotten buzzed when drivers try to move around traffic in the left lane, I’ll take the lane. But on a wide road where there’s plenty of space to pass and drivers have never given me a problem I ride to the right.
Since I’m familiar with the route and with what drivers are likely to do I’m happy to give them a little more freedom. But if I was riding an unfamiliar road I would be more assertive and take the lane more aggressively to prevent getting buzzed etc.
The more used I get to this style of biking, the more I see myself as controlling the behavior of motorists and being responsible for my own safety, rather than simply being at motorist’s mercy. You really don’t have to just accept that you’re going to get buzzed sometimes; you can do something about it. And you will find that the vast majority of drivers simply accept that you are taking the lane and will drive appropriately. Yes, you will get the occasional driver that lays on the horn and passes aggressively and illegally. But that is a lot more rare (and arguably less dangerous) than drivers who simply don’t acknowledge your presence and pass far too closely, when you ride to the right.


andyc

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Aug 20 2013 at 12:59pm #

I find the courteous middle ground is to pull over and let people pass. In most places, there will be an opening to pass safely and normally soon enough but if that is not the case, I’d much rather help people to pass around me safely than be trailed by a queue of festering hatred.

Regarding the photo above, I would probably be mad if I came across that group on a country road (though that looks more like a park) and they made no effort to let me pass safely. In a group that size I would think you need to have some plans beforehand on how to split into smaller packs such that people can get around you. Otherwise it’s like apportioning a parade route if the pack is too big to get around.


edmonds59

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Aug 20 2013 at 1:02pm #

Oh, James Love. A stellar example of the Dunning-Kruger effect, to the extreme. So absolutely incompetent that he is absolutely convinced of his own correctness.
For everyone else’s info, I have met this person, and he is an odd, odd bird, his opinions should in no way be taken to represent the average thinking person’s. How he is able to get the ear of any media is nothing more than an indication of the pathetic state of our media, just looking for sensationalism and ratings.
@mjacobPGH – I use a mirror, which greatly reduces the element of surprise as to what drivers may be doing behind me. If I see a car coming up behind that appears to be on a line that will not give me adequate passing room, I will ease out further and leave them no option. If nothing else, that gives me more safe bailout space if they still decide to buzz close. For the 90%+ of the cars that pass, I just hold my line. Also fyi, I generally ride the right hand wheel-track of the auto tires, I find it to be the cleanest and safest line.


salty

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Aug 26 2013 at 9:44am #

Black 4-runner, P/D plate 3904F, definite contender for the “just plan stupid” award. On my way to/from work I climb over the short but steep hill on Negley between Fair Oaks and Wilkins. As I crest the hill, I take the lane, all the way to the yellow line, since I’m turning left at the bottom in either direction. My other reason for doing that is to dissuade people from doing exactly what this guy did which is try to pass me on a steep downhill where there’s not enough room. And, in the AM direction there are often cars or contractor vehicles parked which is one more reason to take the lane. Yesterday at PP marko and I were talking about the importance of taking the lane to prevent unsafe passes, so that was also on my mind.

Anyways, I heard the engine behind me and then got that little tingly feeling like “OMG this guy is going to pass me”. The light was red and a line of cars were waiting so he especially didn’t have room to do it, plus there was a car coming up the hill. I glanced over my shoulder to see him fully in the other lane. There were only two ways this was going to end, with a head-on crash (which the driver seemed pretty committed to) or with him swerving into me, so I hit the brakes. I think the guy coming up the hill must have done the same, but our hero just kept on going. The head-on had to be pretty close regardless. Then he had to slam on his brakes to keep from rear ending the cars in our lane. Keep in mind this is all in a few hundred feet of pavement, on a ~10% grade.

I saw his window was down and all I could think to say was “are you f’n stupid?”… followed by “get off the road until you learn to drive”. I didn’t hear whatever he was saying back but I’m sure it was stupid.


buffalo buffalo

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Aug 26 2013 at 9:55am #

GFB 2533, burnt-orange sedan (Chevy Cobalt? A smallish American car with spoiler, but 4-door), late-40s or early-50s white male. 2′ pass on SB Neville between Centre and Bayard yelling “move over”. As usual, light was red at Bayard–he then tries to tell me 4′ law means I’m supposed to move over so he can give me 4′.
(Neville, of course, is lined with parked cars. There was no ‘over’ to move to.)

Trying to decide if the color of his car has infected his brain, or if he’s so completely full of shit it’s even turned his car the colour of diarrhea. Either way, watch out for him.

(Other weekend fun: Harley rider who passed me @ ~18 inches on Arlington near 18th, then kept repositioning himself to block me from filtering past him and the pickup in front of him. I went around on the left to rejoin the other cyclists at the light. About two blocks later, he again passed me very close–I nearly let the inner mule take over.)

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